AVCX Contest — Wednesday, April 17, 2024

AVCX  Grid: untimed; Meta: got a nudge 


Laura Braunstein and Jesse Lansner’s AVCX contest crossword, “District Lines” — Conrad’s writeup.

This week we’re looking for a significant drop of 2024. There were five theme entries. Each ended with a US federal executive department:

AVCX Contest – 04.21.24

AVCX Contest – 04.21.24

  • BRONY(COMMERCE): [Dudes buying and selling Rainbow Dash dolls?]
  • SORETITS(LABOR): [Breastfeeding?]:
  • PASPHO(EDUCATION): [Wherein dad learned about Vietnamese noodle soup?]
  • HEHUGS(JUSTICE): [That guy embraces Ketanji Brown Jackson?]
  • OLDER(TREASURY): [Collection of ducats and farthings?]

I figured the answer was a 2024 album by Beyonce or Taylor Swift. I focused on the latter due to department, spotted BRONY/BYRON, and I had the rabbit: the first part of each themer anagrammed to a famous poet:

Vote for Petro

The anagrammed (tortured) poets lock in our contest solution The Tortured Poets Department. I really enjoyed this meta: surgical construction, with a fun and timely theme. The fill was great: BRONY and SORETITS were truly inspired. USENET (clued as Home of alt.swedish.chef.bork.bork.bork) crossing Chaos GNOME. Vote for PEDRO. A shoutout to The Germs. Homer and Hank Hill. I loved it. Solvers: please share your thoughts.

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3 Responses to AVCX Contest — Wednesday, April 17, 2024

  1. Tim H. says:

    I connected HUGHES to the Supreme Court JUSTICE Charles Evans Hughes. Then saw that there was a COMMERCE Secretary named Bryson- BRONY anagrammed plus a letter- and the rabbit hole was complete and inescapable.

  2. Eric H says:

    Damn! I was on the right track.

    I too guessed it would be the new album from Beyoncé or Taylor Swift as soon as I read the prompt.

    I looked at the grid off and on from Wednesday to Sunday before I noticed the cabinet departments. I should’ve noticed that sooner. (The title “District Lines” meant nothing until suddenly the D.C. connection clicked.)

    I looked at the current secretaries of those five agencies, but that went nowhere.

    And I thought about anagramming what was left over in each theme answer, but didn’t follow through on the idea.

    I don’t recognize Christina ROSETTI, but I know of the others, which probably would have given me the poets link.

    Pretty clever meta. I wish I’d figured it out myself.

  3. Seth Cohen says:

    Great meta, but not a chance at all for me. I know absolutely nothing about poets, and executive departments are about as far from my interest and notice as anything could possibly be. They’re was no way my brain would ever see those two things. I even checked the first words for anagrams, cause they felt very anagramy to me, but never got anywhere with it. Oh well!

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